Valium is to many, a wonder drug. It’s an anti-anxiety medication that helps people live a life with little anxiety, and it gives many a quality of life that they did not have prior to it. It helps those with a serious mental illness be able to overcome day to day things that others take for granted. But like most medications, it can be something that the body becomes used to, and a level of tolerance is reached, so in order to get the same effect, more and more would have to be taken, and eventually, it will stop working altogether. Now while it’s not going to be the same for everyone, for those who have had Valium stop working, it’s important to know what to do, and ways to manage without it.
The very first thing that should be done is to consult with the prescribing doctor about this. While they may not be able to prescribe something else, it is possible. It is necessary, however, because they will likely need to help the person ween off of it. People who take Valium for an extended period of time should not just stop cold turkey. Working with a medical professional is important here, even if they are not able to prescribe something else to take its place.
Second, it’s very important for many reasons to know why Valium has been prescribed, and what it is supposed to treat. Is it for social anxiety and it helps the person in specific situations? Is it for night terrors due to horrific past abuse? Understanding this is key to finding the ways to help cope with the anxiety head-on without medication.
After that, learning tools to use when the anxiety comes on, or before the anxiety comes, is going to be important. It works similarly to taking ibuprofen; it’s best to take it (or start the coping exercise) before the pain is too intense. Otherwise, it does not have a chance to work. Using coping skills when it’s obvious anxiety is coming on is going to be the best course of action. Otherwise, even the best coping skills will have limited impact.
What are coping skills? Coping skills are things that people do to soothe or calm themselves when upset, in a tough situation, or otherwise in distress. One of the more helpful coping skills are breathing techniques that focus the person on controlling their breathing in a slow and measured way. There are many breathing techniques out there; it is just important to find one that works best for each person. Finding ways to distract the mind from the anxiety is another helpful tip. This can be doing something fun, like watching TV, listening to music, video games, or it can be something more intellectual, like doing math. Either way, it gets the focus of the anxiety, and onto something else. What happens is the anxiety is ignored, forgotten about, and then it essentially does not exist anymore.
For anyone unfamiliar with their diagnosis, or even for those who would like something more concrete, working with a therapist in individual or group settings is encouraged. Valium has provided many a quality of life they did not have, and it can be heartbreaking to have that taken away, if it stops working. There are many ways to handle anxiety, figuring out the way that works best for each person is key.